For Christmas this year, some people got bikes or new phones or cosy jumpers. Some people got a nice candle or earrings or a generic voucher from a relative that doesn’t know them that well.

Me? I got conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis is basically when the thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye becomes red and inflamed and, as a result, causes your eye to produce manky yellow pus that makes you want to crawl under the covers and hide. This option was made even more tempting by the fact that one of my eyes was literally sealed shut so I had to ply it open with the same precision I usually reserve for plucking my eyebrows or nibbling around the edge of a Kit Kat until only the wafer is left.

Conjunctivitis is not a disease suited to the festive period. Conjunctivitis in mid-February? Fine. You can hunker down and avoid seeing people for three straight days if needs be. Conjunctivitis in July? Easy breezy, chuck on a pair of sunglasses and you’re good to go.

But at Christmas, there’s nowhere to hide. You have to go to the party at your neighbours’ house. You’re expected at your cousin’s place to play endless games of charades. You’re practically legally obliged to see your grandparents. And then, on top of that, you have to see the family friend you used to have a crush on, knowing that for the next year, the image that they’re going to have of you in their mind won’t be of you in a nice sequinned dress, but of you with puffy red eye that periodically fills with gummy snot.

Almost every every single conversation I had over the four days while my eyes looked like the final, haunting scene from a horror film that keeps you awake at night was some variation of this:

Person: Hello!

Me: Hi – oh no, I wouldn’t hug me, I have conjunctivitis (lifting up my sunglasses and pointing at my gammy eye. Why conceal something when you could draw attention to it, right?) 

Person: (pulling a face and taking a step away from me) Oh. That’s… (person searches frantically for a word to say that isn’t ‘gross’ or ‘repulsive’) …unfortunate.

Me: Yeah, it’s all full of pus. And I can’t really see out of it at the moment so your face is slightly blurry.

Person: Oh.

Me: But you look great blurry. Er, not that you wouldn’t look great if you were, um, un-blurry.

Person: Is it contagious?

Me: Oh, it’s super contagious.

Person: (taking another step away from me) I mean, it’s not *that* bad.

Me: Really? I’m paranoid I have pus on my eyeball at all times.

Person: (pulling awkward face).

Me: I have pus on my eye don’t I?

Person: Only a bit. Well, actually quite a lot. But, er, Happy Christmas! (awkwardly pats me on the shoulder and makes a hasty escape).

Me: Brilliant.

After four days of avoiding any contact with anyone and baffling my family by wearing my sunglasses indoors, my conjunctivitis cleared up. Mercifully, I don’t seem to have passed on good ol’ pus eye to any of my loved ones – and let me tell you, I have never appreciated my normal, un-gummed eyes more.

Hopefully next festive period, the only thing I’ll be spreading is Christmas cheer.

What do you do at Christmas? You spend time with friends and family, you share presents, and sometimes you make gingerbread houses. Here at Betty, though, we take things a little more seriously and decided to turn it into a challenge!

Fifteen minutes. Four betty girls. Two teams. Only one winner. We got betty girl Bex to judge, but who do you think was the best?

You’ve finished school, you’ve brought all your presents (shh, pretend you have), you’ve watched Elf at least three times and you’ve been officially banned from the kitchen for picking all the marzipan out of the stollen. So what’s left to do? Deck yourself out like a Christmas tree, obviously.

Christmas is not a time to buy sensible face wash and nude nail polish and elegant taupe eyeshadow. Christmas is a time for razzle dazzle and puttin’ on the glitz. A time to cover yourself in so much glitter that your shortsighted Granny peers at your face and asks if you have a rash.

So to help you accomplish this final festive goal, here’s a shopping list of our shimmery favourites. Go on, shine bright like a diamond.

Shimmer limbs

full sparks

What, you mean you don’t make your arms and legs shimmer to match your lip gloss? Are you some kind of animal? Ok so the Full Sparks set is kind of ridiculous, but Christmas is all about being being ridiculous. Plus it’s £4.80 and smells like heaven.

Soap & Glory Full Sparks kit, £4.80, Boots




Tanya Burr always has our back. And our front. And our nails. And our cheeks. We’re huge fans of her cheek illuminator, and this shade is literally called ‘holiday happiness’ – for that just-had-a-gingerbread-latte glow.

Tanya Burr Holiday Happiness cheek illuminator, £6.99, Superdrug


Give it some lip

Nyx lipsticks

When you feel the need to go full goth rebel against your perfect cousin or create a stir at the carol concert, these luscious jewel-toned lippies from Nyx will do the trick. Dare you to blend all three.

Nyx Wicked lippies, £5.50, Boots

A twinkle in your eye

Glitter Top Coat Mascara

Make any mascara instantly festive with a sweep of this glitter top coat. And hey, if you put enough on, you can kid yourself it’s snowing.

Glitter top coat mascara, £7.20, Kiko


Panda to your whims

blotting papers

Ok, maybe you don’t always want to glow. Just the thing you need for those jumper + central heating + too much gammon + too many energetic rounds of charades = shiny, shiny face moments: the cutest blotting paper in the world.

Panda blotting paper, £3, Topshop


Disco tips

Mavala nail polish

Every shimmery shade in Mavala’s disco collection is worthy of your retro pointing fingers. Mix ‘n’ match the whole lot for maximum Chrimbo joy.

Mavala Nail Polish, £4.95 each, John Lewis

Here’s the gloss

Lip gloss

Why would you buy one festive lipgloss when you can have six for £6? This lustrous set by Seventeen will see you through till New Year without getting bored. Watch your hair in the wind though.

Sparkle and shine lip gloss collection, £6, Seventeen


Hopin’ and sprayin’


We always suspected that Little Mix smell amazing, and here’s the proof: their Wishmaker body mist. Make a wish every time you spray – it’s easier than blowing out 100 birthday candles.

Little Mix Wishmaker Body Mist, £12 from Boots

Excess braggage

Max Factor excess shimmer

Christmas is a time for excess, and that’s true on your face as well your plate. So pile on this extravagantly shimmery shadow by Max Factor and become so dazzling that you can steal other people’s pigs in blankets without them noticing.

Excess shimmer shadow, £7.99, Boots

School’s out! A fortnight of festive freedom! Think of all the things you will DO – the people you could see, the places you could go, the ambitious but satisfying projects you could undertake, the hours you could spend doing something wholesome and outdoorsy, like carol singing or tobogganing or skating on a frozen lake (because obviously your imaginary Christmas holiday takes place in a movie adaptation of a Dickens novel).

You could do all those things, but obviously you won’t. Because you’ll be asleep.

Mmmm, sleep. The greatest gift of all.’Tis the season for a lie-in, fa la la la la, la la zz zzzzzz. After you’ve spent the whole year getting up at basically the crack of dawn to achieve all that stuff you’ve achieved, and staying up late to keep up your social media presence in case people start to worry you’ve been kidnapped, all you really want for Christmas is a big, giant nap.

And here’s the good news: you deserve one. You need one, in fact. No matter how much your parents mutter about ‘lazy teenagers’, tut when you emerge at lunchtime in your pyjamas or nag you to get up and go for a 10-mile Boxing Day walk with them before handwriting 20 thank-you letters to your relatives. The truth is that in your teen years, a good night’s sleep becomes more important than ever before… but, and here’s the unfair bit, it’s also harder to actually get.

How many Zs are we talking?

Studies have suggested that between the ages of 10 and 20, we should be clocking up at least nine hours’ sleep a night. That’s an hour or two more than your parents need, and six hours more than Margaret Thatcher supposedly used to get (which explains some things). But even more interestingly, the pattern of sleep gets thrown off during adolescence – typically meaning that teen brains want to go to sleep later, but also sleep for longer in the morning. Sound familiar? Turns out it isn’t your habit of falling into a YouTube rabbit hole at midnight that’s to blame; it’s your BRAIN. And your habit of falling into a YouTube rabbit hole at midnight. A bit.

Mm sure, but why?

Science is helpfully vague on that question. “There must be an evolutionary reason why this happens,” says Neil Stanley, a sleep researcher at the University of East Anglia, who thinks that the culprit could be – what else? – hormones. “If sleep is important for memory and learning, and dealing with emotions, and repair and recuperation, then teenage years have an awful lot of that,” he told the BBC

During puberty your circadian rhythms (the ones that control sleeping and waking) are ‘reset’, a bit like turning a phone off and on again. Except that your phone usually wakes up faster and more alert, whereas you end up wanting to crawl into a burrow and hibernate until adulthood.

So how do I catch more than 40 winks?

You probably know plenty of the tricks – hot drinks before bed, a relaxing bath, switching off your devices early and banishing them from your bedroom (here’s our handy video) – but do you actually do them?

Thought not. Well, that’s a good place to start. Especially the devices one, which we KNOW is about as appealing as sleeping without oxygen in the room…. but all that scrolling can send your mind into overdrive when it should be winding down. Plus a recent study found that the blue light your phone gives off can mess up your natural sleep cycle, by suppressing the sleepy hormone melatonin and ‘fooling’ the brain into thinking it is daytime. Old-style alarm clocks might be due a revival, guys.

There are also bigger plans afoot in society to help teens get the start they really need, including recent recommendations that high schools should start and finish later, so everyone can have a good lie-in without feeling guilty about it. Some early research has suggested that later starts not only help you get more sleep, but also help reduce feelings of depression and irritability. So an extra hour’s kip might be good for more than just staying awake during Monday morning double maths.

Yawn. Are you finished yet?

Almost. While schools catch up and (hopefully) change their timetables, you can look after yourself by making sure you get as much sleep as you can, when you can. And if anyone tries to call you lazy, show them this article.

Although you really should write your thank-you letters. Sorry.

Image: Amber Griffin

Do you want to make your own Christmas baubles? If you’re subscribed to bettybox, then you’ll have a Bubble T bauble you can empty out and decorate. If you’re not subscribed, you can get some from Hobbycraft.

We’ve got three bauble designs here for you – The Disco Bauble, The Cool Yule and A Star Is Bauble. We used a hot glue gun, but you can use PVA glue instead. If you’re using a hot glue gun, make sure you get help from a parent or guardian.

Does your festive enthusiasm put Buddy the Elf to shame, or are you Grinchier than the Grinch himself? Let’s find out…

When do you think is the 'right' time to put up a Christmas tree is?

When did you stop believing in Santa?

What time do you wake up on Christmas Day?

What sort of present unwrapper are you?

Who’s your fave reindeer?

How do you feel about Christmas pudding?

In the school nativity play, your dreamed of being cast as...

Love Actually comes on the TV. What do you do?

They’re great once a month, but also great for this time of year! Using lace, glue feathers and glitter you can turn your tampons into beautiful tree decorations. We used a hot glue gun, but you can use PVA glue instead. If you’re using a hot glue gun, make sure you get help from a parent or guardian!

I have some really close family friends who, for the sake of this article, I’m going to call The Flintstones.

The Flintstones are excellent people. Growing up, I used to love going to their house. They had a trampoline and a pool and I was allowed to “help myself” to their chocolate stash. And yet, every year, when Christmas rolled around, I would dread seeing them because I knew what was coming.

There would be a gift, wrapped in that weird foil sort of wrapping paper with my name written neatly on it sitting under the tree.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the sort of person who judges a gift by its wrapping. And despite everything I’m about to write, I truly appreciate that they bought me a gift in the first place. Generally, anxiety is the furthest thing from my mind when I’m opening a present. I love tearing quickly at the two edges, I love the suspense, I love the 0.006 seconds before I form an opinion about a gift and instead just feel surprised and excited by the promise of this new thing in my hands. (I’m literally smiling at my screen right now evening thinking about opening presents).

But opening gifts from The Flintstones filled me with a cold panic. Every present from The Flintstones was bad. Not just a “well this isn’t quite to my taste” sort of bad, but rather the type of gift you open and mentally compile a list of things that you would have preferred to receive, such as a can opener or a paperclip clumsily bent into the shape of a star or a skirt that only fits over one of your thighs. I’m kidding. (I’m not).

But years of less-than-ideal presents have prepared me well in one respect. I have perfected one of life’s most sought-after skills: the ability to pretend to like something you hate. And now, I shall pass 15 years’ worth of lessons on to you, dear reader, in 200 words. Grab a notebook.

The ultimate guide to pretending to love a present you hate

Step 1: Take a deep breath

What you’re aiming for here is a low-level gasp. A gasp that says, “This gift is so amazing that it literally took my breath away and isn’t at all me buying time so I can think of how to react.”

If in doubt, channel Hillary Duff.


Step 2: Oooooooh

If you still need some more time to put your game face on, a long ‘Oooooh’ can buy you an extra second or two.

Young Will Smith gets it.


Step 3: Turn the gift over in your hands

This shows that you like the gift enough to not instantly want to hurl it at a wall.

The polar bear knows what’s up.


Step 4: Establish eye contact

Establishing eye contact is crucial. It shows sincerity. Or at least, the appearance of sincerity, which is all we’re really after here.

Nicole Scherzinger’s been there, done that.


Step 5: Smile

You want to look happy, but not so happy that they know your happiness is fake. Ideally, you’re going for the type of smile you’d use if you found a £20 on the street, or if your crush told you that they liked your new jumper. A mix of surprised and happy. This is a smile that requires teeth, but doesn’t need to last more than a second.

Nicki Manaj-style.


Hopefully by this point you’re free and clear, and they’ll have moved on to the next doomed recipient or been distracted by a bunch of rogue carol singers. If in doubt, ask your brother if he farted. Sing a song. Say you’re so overjoyed with the gift that you need a lie-down.

But at the end of the day, just remember the number one faker’s rule – sometimes less…

really is more.


Image: Getty

1. Chocolate for breakfast.

2. Chocolate for second breakfast.

3. And for third breakfast, a chocolate selection pack.

4. Legitimately not being able to eat lunch because you’re so full of chocolate.

5. Thankfully it’s Christmas, so such a thing as second lunch exists.

6. Pyjamas as daywear.

7. Changing pyjamas halfway through the day, because you have five million pairs of Christmas pyjamas and these ones are getting a bit musty.

8. Accessorising your pyjamas with novelty reindeer antlers.

9. Which actually belong to your pets.

10. Saying, “I”m going to make my own decorations this year!”

11. Making one bauble, then getting bored and giving up.

12. Making a gingerbread house! No one eats it, because no one can feasibly eat that much gingerbread. It gathers mould in a corner of the kitchen until your mum gets cross and chucks it out.

13. Throwing glitter on anything that stands still for longer than three seconds.

14. Including your pets.

15. Spending at least half an hour trying to get your glittery, antlered pets to pose in front of the tree for that ‘perfect’ Instagram.

16. Telling your best friend what you got her for Christmas because it’s so brilliant you can’t wait.

17. Then buying her another one because you feel bad for spoiling the surprise.

18. Remembering that Twiglets exist.

19. And eggnog lattes.

20. Crying during the sad bits in Miracle on 34th Street.

21. Crying during the sad bits in Muppet Christmas Carol.

22. Crying during literally any bit of any Christmas movie now, just because you’re on a roll.

23. Even if it’s a horribly-made film with bad acting and a plotline involving getting a boyfriend for Christmas, and was clearly filmed in July.

24. Accessorising your pyjamas with Christmas socks, a Christmas jumper, and a woolly hat whenever you leave the house.

25. Even though it’s about 18 degrees outside.

26. Justin Bieber’s Christmas album.

27. Singing “All I Want for Christmas is You” when you’re alone.

28. Wishing for snow, even though it’s still 18 degrees outside.

29. Every. Single. Snapchat. Christmas. Filter.


Christmas isn’t Christmas without earrings. The sort of loud, garishly glittery earrings that will make your teacher’s lip curl, your nan’s nose flare and your ears the most happening places in town. But let’s face it, you don’t want to spend more than a tenner.

So because ’tis the season to be cheap and cheerful, here are some of the best/worst you’ll find on the high street this yuletide.


Less Christmas kitsch, more Christmas cool seems to be Toppers’ vibe this year, with stylish takes on the ol’ classics: holly, reindeer antlers and baubles. What’s more, they are decidedly cheaper than one might expect: just 7 to 9 doubloons per pair. Perfect for injecting some festive jolly into your uniform without drawing too much attention from the Scrooge of the staff room.



Jingle All The Way, Topshop, £7

Holly Days


Holly Days, Tophop, £7



Christmas Baubles, Topshop, £9


Okay, so they aren’t technically earrings. But where there are Brussels Sprout head boppers, there will be a dedicated betty journalist fighting for their right to exist – and your right to wear them. Easily the best use of Brussels sprouts we’ve ever seen. Including eating them.

Sprouting Up


Brussel Sprouts, Accessorize, £4

New Look

We all want some of these figgy pudding earrings from New Look – and at £2.99 a pud, we all can. Except if you are of the view, shared by many, that Christmas pudding is a lumpen crime against the name of pudding, listen up: hear those sleigh bells jingling? Ring-ting-tingling? That’s because there are reindeer earrings, complete with a bell, at the exact same price, for you.

Pudding, anyone? 


Christmas Pudding, New Look, £2.99

Pom-poms and sleigh bells and glitter, oh my!  


Silver Reindeers, New Look, £2.99


It will come as a surprise to no one that Claire’s is the home of all things Christmas novelty, from Chrimbo lights earrings to Santa Claus’ face and big red behind, with a whole range of stud selection packs (snowmen, snowflakes, mittens, stockings) in between. This place is where Christmas kitsch is both born and goes to die – and we love it from the bottom of our glitter covered, sequin filled plastic hearts.

Snow much cuteness


Holiday Snowman, Claire’s, £5.50

Santa ball-balls 

Santa Balls, Claire’s, £4.50

Tree Drops 


Spiral Tree Drops, Claire’s, £4.50

Light ’em up 


Christmas Lights, Claire’s, £5

Back to Front


Mix ‘n’ Match, Claire’s, £3.50


Well, whodathunk it? Sensible old Marks and Sparks has Christmas earrings! Classy ones, it’s true, next to the likes of Claire’s and New Look, but Christmas earrings nonetheless – and for only a fiver. You might even persuade your mum to wear them (after a sherry or two.)

Don’t get in a flap 


Penguin Earrings, Marks and Spencer, £5


It’s a stretch to call these ‘Christmas’ earrings – they’re autumnal, if we’re being particular – but we’ll allow them because they are a) quite beautiful and b) remarkably cheap. One for lunch with Granny perhaps: save the sleigh bells for the girls.

They’re golden


Leaf earrings, H&M, £6.99

Dorothy Perkins

Good old Dotty P’s. Christmas has barely begun and they’ve already put their glittery christmas bauble earrings on offer. We’re big fans of the gold, but at £3 a pair you could go totally wild and get red and green too. 

Deck the lobes


Tinsel Earrings, Dorothy Perkins, £3.20

Go on, put your best ear forward. There’s a time for simple studs, and that is January.


‘Oh, you poor thing,’ is what most people say when I tell them I don’t celebrate Christmas.

You see I’m Jewish – not just a cultural bagel-eating Jew, but a synagogue-attending (although not as much as I really should) Jew – so for me, Christmas isn’t really a ‘thing.’ I’ve never had a Christmas tree. I’ve hardly ever opened a present on Christmas Day (unless it’s happened to fall within the Jewish present-giving holiday Chanukkah – an eight-day long festival which also takes place in December). And I’ve never gone carolling… although tbf, neither have most of my Christian mates.

So does that mean that I hate the whole Christmas period? That exchanging gifts in December makes me feel deeply uncomfortable? That I feel mortally offended when someone wishes me a ‘Merry Christmas’? Of course not. I may be Jewish, but I’m also British, so while I might not enjoy the full, traditional Christmas experience, it’s almost impossible for me to avoid getting into the festive sprit altogether. And you know what? I wouldn’t want to.

Mince pies, Christmas movies (the cheesier the better IMO) and Christmas parties fill me with as much joy (or, when it comes to work parties, horror) as the next person. And I also have a pretty banging line in Christmas jumpers (three of which – yes, I have more than three – I picked up at a Jewish charity shop). Even at my parent’s house – an otherwise Christmas-free zone – the Christmas spirit sneaks in, in the form of food. We might not have a stack of presents under an elaborately decorated tree, but jam-filled lebkuchen (traditional German Christmas biscuits), H U G E boxes of chocolates and nuts in shells (which inevitably, no one can actually crack), fill the house. In fact, we even have a traditional roast turkey dinner complete with champagne and crackers on Christmas Day, and my mum bakes her own Christmas cake.

But while we may subscribe to a traditional Christmas diet, that’s where my Christmas Day activities stop. While for most people, Christmas Day is filled with joy and excitement, I tend to find the whole thing quite boring. You see, because we don’t really celebrate Christmas, I spend the day with just my immediate family (my mum, dad and two younger sisters).

So while there are inevitably some pretty epic arguments (as per Crimbo tradition), there’s none of the excitement of seeing some long-lost drunken uncle do his annual eggnog-fuelled Elvis impression. Add to that the fact that there’s never anything on TV (but seriously, HOW is there never anything decent on TV? No, really?), and that even if I do, somehow, manage to summon up the energy to actually leave the house, there’s nothing to do because nothing’s actually open. The whole day just tends to drag.

In fact, the best solution I’ve found to beat the Christmas Day boredom is to work. As I’ve got older and realised I’m happy (or at least not massively bothered) about working on Christmas Day, it’s become one of my favourite perks about being Jewish. Seriously. You see, 99.9% of Brits would rather pull out their own toenails than work on Christmas Day. Therefore, when you’re happy to do so – thus allowing them to spend a full day trapped in a house with their entire extended family, stuffing themselves silly and playing endless games of charades – they’re so incredibly grateful, that you can demand all kinds of ‘favours’ in return. For instance I once merrily agreed to work the entire Christmas period up to Boxing Day (which, incidentally I much prefer to actual Christmas Day, because A. shops are open, B. the TV is always better, C. turkey sandwiches), and in return didn’t have to go back into the office till January 7. JANUARY 7! It was glorious!

And talking to other non-Christmas celebrating friends, the consensus is the same. Yes, we enjoy the spirit of the period. Yes, we like the time off. Yes, we’re ALWAYS happy to receive presents/ food/ happy greetings. So while I might not buy into the whole Jesus thing or get the full British Christmas experience, I still look forward to it every year.  Merry Christmas, one and all!


I am what you’d call an enthusiastic person. It’s almost annoying. I’m the first in line when there’s someone doing free glitter lips makeovers, the one running towards the big scary rollercoaster in the theme park, the one pulling out a sewing machine when there’s a fancy dress party. I sing the loudest during “Happy Birthday” and do the lion’s share of organising the charity bake sales. I like being involved and I like being giggly and happy and celebrating things.

That being said, I hate Christmas.

Well, I don’t hate it. It’s more that I don’t get any enjoyment out of it whatsoever. I see people in festive jumpers sipping hot chocolate and unwrapping presents from friends and family with looks of festive joy on their faces and I know I should be in my element, but instead I’m left cold both literally and figuratively. While my friends watch the sky and cross their fingers for snow, I glare at every frosty day like it’s just insulted my mother and spat on my cat. The pressure of buying Christmas gifts for people far outweighs the makeup sets from Debenhams I get in return. I think most Christmas films are fine, but the only one I’d watch without simultaneously flicking through Snapchat is The Muppet Christmas Carol. 

I guess I feel about Christmas the same way I feel about getting my nails done or watching a football match. I know that some people love the experience and get really excited about it, but I can’t for the life of me understand why. It’s fine and I’ll tolerate it because I have no other choice, but it’s so far down the list of things I’d actually want to do with my time it’s only a few places above “listen to Nan talk about the time she met Shakin’ Stevens’ grandmother at the bakery for the 100th time”.

Hating Christmas wouldn’t be a problem for me if it wasn’t really lonely to feel like the only person in the world who isn’t celebrating something. When everyone around you is sharing plans, singing carols and ironically wearing ugly jumpers, it’s like they’re all having a brilliant party that you’ve not been invited to. The second Halloween ends and Christmas things start appearing in the shops, I start getting little twinges of dread about feeling like a freak for most of December.

It doesn’t help that people are constantly surprised at my lack of Christmas cheer, openly calling me weird or telling me I have no heart because I don’t understand the fun of eating weird things you’d never usually touch (Christmas pudding? Mince meat? Cheese footballs? WHY?!) until you feel sick and watching terrible Christmas ‘specials’ of TV shows that are usually brilliant (Doctor Who, I’m looking at you) while wearing hideous snowflake PJs from an auntie you haven’t seen in four years who couldn’t think what else to buy you.

If you’re similarly Scroogey, you’re not alone and you’re completely normal. I know how hard it is, and I’ve spent years figuring out the best ways to cope with the festive period when you’re feeling more like the Grinch than Good King Wenceslas. 

1. Always remember that Christmas will pass, and that by the New Year things will all be back to normal. TV will become sane, the food will be the lovely comforting stuff it always is, and you won’t have to listen to Fairytale Of New York 20 times a day any more.

2. Prepare your answers. When someone asks you what your favourite Christmas song, food or film is, make sure that you aren’t stuck mumbling “Um, well, I don’t really like Christmas”. If instead you can merrily trill “I love All I Want For Christmas/pigs in blankets/Love Actually! What about you?”, you don’t have to spend half an hour defending your perfectly valid dislike of all things festive.

3. Take some non-Christmassy time for yourself. Make an excuse – dodgy tummy, tired from all the festive fun, homework to finish, friends to FaceTime – and hide in your room with a book or your phone until you’re feeling strong enough to face the world again.

4. Get yourself a buddy. Find someone you love and trust – your mum, your best mate, that person on Instagram who always likes your selfies – and tell them that you get PMS, aka ‘Perpetual Merriment Strops’. Having someone who understands that you’re feeling rubbish and might need to unload will immediately make you feel less alone.

This Christmas, you’ll find me smiling on the outside whilst imagining I’m somewhere completely different on the inside. If I can do it, so can you. I hope you have a entirely manageable Christmas, and a totally tolerable New Year.